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The Puppy Diaries


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About the Author

Jill Abramson, a bestselling and award-winning author, is the managing editor of the New York Times. A dog-lover all her life, she has long been fascinated by the complex relationship between dogs and their owners. She, her husband, and Scout live in New York City and Connecticut.


Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times, is a tough-minded investigative journalist with a soft spot for cuddly pups. In this book, based on her popular Times blog, she chronicles her first year with her new puppy, Scout, and shares what she learns about doggie nutrition, training, socialization, and even pet health insurance. When her husband, Henry, falls in love with a friend's British standard retriever and persuades her to get a puppy from the friend's breeder, Abramson, still grieving the loss of her beloved Westie, Buddy, is reluctant. But by the time they've gotten home with Scout, Abramson has already begun to dote on her. An empty nester with two grown children, she delights in bonding with other dog owners at the dog park, fretting over Scout's graduation from puppy kindergarten, and pampering her with trips to doggy day care or to a pool for pooches in their Tribeca neighborhood. As Scout romps toward canine "adolescence," chomping through shoes, spectacles, and table legs with pin-sharp teeth and dragging her owners along by the leash, Abramson consults with dog authorities like Cesar Millan of The Dog Whisperer, clicker-training and positive-reinforcement proponent Diane Abbott, and animal behaviorist Temple Grandin. Though not all might have such envious resources, puppy owners will enjoy her account of the trials and joys of raising a puppy and will benefit from her balanced look into the contentious realm of dog-training methods. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Drawing on her popular New York Times blog of the same name, recently named executive editor Abramson chronicles her retriever puppy's first year, acting both as owner and diarist. While gentle Scout is pure golden, the book's a mix-the jacket calls it "part memoir, part manual, part investigative report." Abramson worries a great deal about raising Scout right, and after much tutoring and consultation and practice, she apparently succeeds. Readers with young dogs should find Abramson's discussion of "adolescence" and its setbacks particularly reassuring. Her description of New York's dog parks and its exclusive canine services will interest general readers as well as dog lovers. If there's any truth, however, to Marley & Me author John Grogan's observation that "bad dogs make good copy," then a better subject might have been Scout's predecessor-a terrier named Buddy who bit a lady and disliked kids. -VERDICT Scout's story was better suited to a blog than a book-reader responses gave the site a vitality the text sorely lacks. Still, retriever owners wanting to know all they can about the breed may find it useful. [See Prepub Alert, 3/7/11.]-R. Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Anyone who's ever brought home an eight-week-old furry bundle and struggled to remember life Before Dog will enjoy this part-memoir/part-manual from New York Times editor Jill Abramson . . . this book eloquently captures the magic of that precious first year, which dog lovers the world will relate to. - Crufts Magazine

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